Physician Assisted Suicide

Georgia state laws concerning Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) and Euthanasia does not permit this act to take place, legally. We learn from Annals of Internal Medicine (1998; p. 552-558) that “the debate about physician-assisted suicide in the United States has been contentious. Although the U. S. Supreme Court recently ruled that there is no constitutionally protected right to physician-assisted suicide. ” The state of Oregon is the only state in the United States that allows for physicians to assist with suicide; however, we find that (2003, p.

1) “In 2000, Maine came close to legalizing assisted suicide through a ballot initiative, but the voters narrowly defeated it. Nationwide, 38 states, including Connecticut explicitly criminalize assisted suicide by statute. ” There are tremendous issues concerning patient assisted suicide including those from religious, humanity and social perspectives that lend concern to the act of euthanasia which offers too many reasons on hesitation in providing good reason for most states to provide a state law where the act of dying can be legalized.

Although, the state of Oregon does partake in euthanasia where the state laws are concerned, there is still the question from those who disagree with their decision on this touchy issue. (2008, p. 1) Fox News reporter, Dan Springer tells us that“Some terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead, a proposal some experts have called a “chilling” corruption of medical ethics. ”

There are 38 states where euthanasia is banned and these states do include the state of Georgia where the act of assisting in patient suicide will be prosecuted. There are three states where the common law of crimes has been abolished, which include the states of Utah, Wyoming and North Carolina. There are 9 states that will criminilize euthanasia by their own commons laws in their states. These states include; Maryland, Michigan, Massachuttes, Idaho, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginian, Vermont and the state of Nevada.

In Ohio, ruled that physician assisted suicide is not a crime in October, 1996 and in the state of Virginia, physician assisted suicide, the law is unclear, according to case law in that state. There will be continuous concerns with the state laws on this issue and they will continue to change as new cases are brought in for review, where patients will voice their huge concerns, when they feel that they have the right to die with dignity and ask for their state laws to be changed and in some cases these state laws will be debated.

The subject of euthanasia and the state laws that agree or disagree with this act will always be debated throughout time. Many will agree that patients have the right to die with dignity and there will still be those individuals who feel that euthanasia is murder. These opinions will greatly affect state laws, as long as those in each state make certain that this issue is brought to attention.

A patient’s right to die with dignity should remain the same across the United States but until then, patients who wish to die, after suffering from diseases and impairments that cause them continuous and agonizing pain where they must decide if they want to or able to cope with these burdens, must abide by their own state laws and if they are not willing to abide by the laws in which the state they live, they must move to a state where physician assisted suicide is legal or else cause legal issues for physicians who are willing to take a chance on being prosecuted for a right that they feel should be legal and humane.

Reference Page Kasprak, John. 2003. OLR Research Report. Assisted Suicide. P. 1. Springer, Dan. 2008. Oregon Offers Terminal Patients Doctor-Assisted Suicide Instead of Medical Care. Quill, Timothy E. MD; Meir, Diane E. ; Block MD, Susan D. MD; Billings, Andrew J. MD. April 1, 1998. Medicine and Public Issues. Annals of Internal Medicine. P. 552-558.

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